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Bad Company

Aftershocks 5.2: A Secret Weapon

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Aftershocks 5.2: A Secret Weapon

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Wilson makes a decision.
CHARACTERS: Wilson, House
RATING:
R for language and themes.
WARNINGS: Details the aftermath of events in Bad Company, a rough, violent story. Aftermath isn't always pretty; may distress some readers. Adult themes and adult language.
SPOILERS: No.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Never will.
NOTES: The pieces of this shattered story are numbered. The first number signifies the number of days that have elapsed since the original event in Bad Company; the second number signifies when the fic occurs during that day.


A Secret Weapon


House notices every card and every present in Wilson's room. He has to touch it all; he picks up each item, inspects it, reads the notes—and says nothing. He doesn't treat it like junk even though most of it really is. He doesn't clear away everyone else's sentiments and toss them aside. He doesn't make room the way he usually would for his own sharp thoughts, his own place in Wilson's domain. 

He puts everything back where he found it. House's back is turned, but the tremor in his hand is audible when the get-well cards rattle against the table's surface. He thinks he hasn't been caught, thinks Wilson's still sedated from the surgery, so Wilson shuts his eyes again and waits. Instantly he's dozing, drifting lazily until he hears House sit down.

Wilson knows him. He knows that moment of hesitation when House asks if he's okay. His voice is soft and faltering and he can't find much to say. He's worried; it's kind of funny and kind of satisfying—almost as good as discovering that, at long last, it's possible to take a deep breath without pain. That simple relief is the best thing he's felt since all this happened.

There's fear in House's eyes when he holds up his offering, an electric razor. It's silver and black and it would look out of place among the pastel-colored things Wilson's been given. Other people send roses and carnations, plush animals, balloons; leave it to House to bring something Wilson actually needs. Leave it to House to be so afraid that his own little gift won't be wanted.

Wilson could almost laugh. Of course it's wanted. It's the best thing anyone has brought him.

House sits there in silence a while, busying his hands, running them over the body of the razor. House always used to watch him so carefully, reading him, looking for any number of things. Hidden secrets, signs of approval, or the body language that occasionally gave away Wilson's lies. More recently it seemed House was always searching for weak spots, places to attack. One way or another, he was always watching, but not now. Now his gaze falls away, slips downward, rests instead on the object in his hands.

If Wilson wants to, he knows he can destroy House now, crush him in a way that would never have been possible before. He can do it as easily as breaking an egg: This is all your fault, you bastard. You did this to me. Go to hell. There's a part of him that wants to say those things and watch House flee the scene, hunched over his cane, unable to look at anyone. He deserves that. He does.

Except that he doesn't. 

"... but your beard is bad," says House, looking up at him again. House is trying to smile, but the plea in his expression is unmistakable. 

House has brought a real gift, the kind he never, ever gives. This isn't a gag or a toy; it's something he absolutely means. That shouldn't be enough to please Wilson, but right now, it is. He's known House too many years to ignore the significance.

All House wants is a nod, another word or two. He wants permission to leave the gift and get safely away. For a second Wilson thinks again of the strange new power he has gained, of how easily and terribly he could punish House.

But that's not what he wants—God help him, but it isn't. He wants that nice shiny razor, wants to feel clean again, wants to know that House gives a damn, cares enough to stay. He wants his friend, who knows what really happened.

He can't help it that the careless jackass who put him here is also the only one he truly wants to talk to. He can't stop the affection that overtakes him at the sight of House, desperate to hide and yet sitting here with all his armor stripped away. He can't stop the urge to make House come closer, to make him handle the thing he broke.

Wilson's eyes linger longingly on the razor, and he decides to see just how much more House is willing to give.
 
 
  • All the terrible things that happen in these stories, and THIS is what makes me cry??? I must be warped. Wonderful stuff, as they all are.
    • The one of us who wrote this part is all warm and fuzzy now, having caused you to choke up. She would like it known that she too gets all wibbly at House being so afraid that Wilson won't want him for a friend anymore his present.

      Thanks for the reply. We love hearing from you.

  • This is powerful stuff. Once again, you have given us a two-parter that shows the two sides of their friendship so well.

    "He puts everything back where he found it. House's back is turned, but the tremble in his hand is audible when the get-well cards rattle slightly against the table's surface. He thinks he hasn't been caught, thinks Wilson's still sedated from the surgery, so Wilson shuts his eyes again and waits. Instantly he's dozing, drifting lazily until he hears House sit down."

    Oh. yes.

    " Leave it to House to be so afraid that his own little gift won't be wanted.
    "

    I really like the way that you showed that House is both vulnerable and gifted in his ability to see what is really needed.

    I really, Really need to see them at home!
    • Wilson waited until the very last minute to talk to us about this scene -- and it was sure interesting when he did.

      And yes, House is so terribly, terribly vulnerable here. He's gotten it Right with the gift he has brought, but he's still so afraid and uncertain.

      Of course Wilson sees it, and we found it fascinating to explore his decision and the reasons for that.
  • It makes sense that Wilson would try to exert *some* control, over *something*, since that's what was taken away from him. Manipulating House is a test, for himself.
    • That's very interesting; we didn't ever discuss this in terms of Wilson testing himself. We probably never even thought about that aspect, but you're correct. That is part of what he's doing. How much can he get House to do? How much power does he really have now? He does want to find out. Really, he's testing them both.

      We love feedback. We learn stuff we didn't know about our own story. Hee!
  • See? That's why I loved the other chapter so much! Wilson explained to me:

    He can't help it that the careless jackass who put him here is also the only one he truly wants to talk to. He can't stop the affection that overtakes him at the sight of House, wanting so badly to hide and yet sitting here with all his armor stripped away. He can't stop the urge to make House come closer, to make him handle the thing he broke.

    Perfection!
    • While the previous chapter has been in existence for months now, our dear reticent Wilson waited until yesterday to tell us about it from his own viewpoint.

      We're glad it came out well on such short notice. And we do love hearing from you. It makes us grin with big evil Cheshire-type grins.
      • How manipulative Wilson is!
        I don't comment in every chapter because most of the times I felt without words. Literally! But this is a fantastic story. Every day I wait anxiously for the next part and I'm never disappointed!
  • What makes all this even more brilliant for me is how this fic came after the The Shave.

    Not only is this fic beautiful in itself, with Wilson's realization of his power to hurt House but knowledge that he never will want to do that, but it's real impact for me is how it magnifies everything in the previous fic. Suddenly Wilson's actions, his lack of words, in the previous chapter is full of meaning. The Shave seemed to me to be all about House. But after reading this fic, I realize it was all about Wilson.

    Bloody brilliant.

  • I have no words, but I had to tell you how amazing this chapter is. All of it. Every damn line, just... wow.
  • Wow..again. This is just so REAL. In all of my years as a nurse, I am always a little surprised when someone really GETS it.. hits the nail on the head. The very best gifts are not the flowers, or the stuffed animals..it's the notepad and pencil for one who cannot speak. It's the offer to read something to one who can no longer see. It's the silent hand that reaches out to share unsharable pain. It's the razor..and even more, the extension of self.

    Wilson is ANGRY..has every right to be; yet his anger is overwhelmed by grace. Grace that he needs to extend..and that House desperately needs to be given. Grace is extended, and in return Wilson gets The Answer. THIS is what House will give..how far he will go.
    Mick
  • Mmm, I really like the intricacy of Wilson's emotions -- how he is feeling so many different emotions towards House at once. And I love that Wilson's affection for House is so true that it could not be completely snuffed out. *sniffle*
  • This is a perfect companion piece!

    Happy that Wilson still seems to have his wits about him, rather than a traumatized shivering person in a corner (though he does have every right to be).

    Is the person who wrote the story the one to answer comments?
    Feel free to ignore that question :)
  • Just a quick message to say that I had to go to bed last night before this came out, (I'm a Brit) but I had to read it before going into work this morning, and boy am I glad I did.

    "House has brought a real gift, the kind he never, ever gives. This isn't a gag or a toy; it's something he absolutely means. That really shouldn't be enough to please Wilson, but right now, it is. He's known House too many years to ignore the significance." This was so small, yet so poigniant.

    Can't wait for more, please say there is lots more!

    elesecks
  • I love this piece, especially this amazing line He can't stop the urge to make House come closer, to make him handle the thing he broke. And Wilson knows he has the power to hurt House with his pain. Oh and this line Wilson's eyes linger longingly on the razor, and he decides to see just how much more House is willing to give. Powerful.

    This may seem strange but I think House needs to break Wilson in order for them both to heal. There's an undercurrent of cruelty in their relationship which is so beautifully captured by the prose.

    I am soooooooooooo!! looking forward to the next two pieces :)
  • Greetings!

    Who said that actions had to have only one motive?

    "He can't stop the affection that overtakes him at the sight of House, wanting so badly to hide and yet sitting here with all his armor stripped away. He can't stop the urge to make House come closer, to make him handle the thing he broke."

    Strength and submission. Power by surrender. Showing us quite clearly the balance that things are hanging in, which could so easily go either way in days to come. As I've said before, it's not the beginning that's the hardest part, it's the later days. Wilson has barely even begun his Journey here. And even now, he sees that there is more than one way to skin a cat... or to punish someone.

    I wish them both well. I fear that they will need it....

    -Katrina
  • Hi! I commented yesterday on 5.1 before noticing this one was posted too... and wow, this two pieces side by side increase the power of that scene, which already touched my heart. *sniffs*

    this line, in particular "the sight of House, wanting so badly to hide and yet sitting here with all his armor stripped away"...

    very, very good...
  • Oh. Oh. Look at everything going on here. Look at the paradox of Wilson wanting and needing the person who made this all happen in the first place. Look how well these two know each other and how helplessly delicate their relationship is right now, both knowing Wilson could break their friendship irrevocably with a few words or even an accusing look. I am so grateful for Wilson's strength here -- that he is able to understand the power he holds over House but is strong enough to sublimate the desire for revenge and, if not forgive House, at least allow him to stay and start making it up to him.
  • Another beautiful piece that gives great insight to Wilson's psyche and makes me want to re-read the previous chapter. Wilson on the brink of something here; his conflicting emotions felt so true. The anger, the power and realization that come as he understands how he could break House irrevocably is just as gripping as the choice he wields and builds up the anticipation for more and more between them.
  • Oh my, you've nailed Wilson. It's simply... not in him, not to want House. With all the shit he's been through, he'll still take House's affection when he can get it. This is priceless, sweet and made me teary-eyed. Thanks ♥
  • Oh man <3 Yeah, I can see why Wilson is conflicted... But I'm glad he didn't break House <3
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